Youth is served: With no seniors on roster, Indians are in Final Four

Russellville celebrates after clinching a spot in the class 2 final four. (KRCG 13 Photo/Rod Smith)

In Russellville's quarterfinal win over Canton, Nick Thompson got the win and Trenton Morrow picked up the save.

Matt Miller, Braden Hickey and Mason Stewart all drove in runs, as did Austin Roe, courtesy of his team-high sixth home run.

Great stuff --- it all added up to the Indians clinching a spot in the Class 2 Final Four.

But there's an equally important point to be made. In order, those players by class are:

Junior, sophomore, sophomore, sophomore, junior, junior.

Russellville's roster has zero seniors. As in none. And this team is in the state semifinals.

Youth is served.

But Lucas Branson sees it a bit differently. Call this experienced youth.

"Our regular starting nine or 10, depending on our lineup combination, they've all basically played since they were freshmen," the Indians head coach said. "And we obviously get to play in the fall, too, so they have a tremendous amount of experience.

"I look at our juniors as basically sixth-year players, because they have six seasons under their belts. I look at our sophomores as basically seniors, because they've played four seasons at this level."

They're still young, but these guys started playing together when they were a lot younger than this.

"Our juniors have probably been playing together since they were old enough to hold a baseball in their hand," said Branson, as unranked Russellville (19-13) gets set to battle second-ranked and defending state champion Mansfield (19-6) in the Class 2 semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Monday at CarShield Field in O'Fallon.

Read the rest of the story here.

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